Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Editor Available

Being an avid reader and a fan of fantasy, it's no surprise I've read some of Elaine Cunningham's work. And while I readily admit to not having read her back list, I have followed her career in some manner for a few years now.

And, more recently, I've been reading her blog (thank the maker for RSS feeds and Google Reader).

Her recent post Editor Needed got me to thinking about a couple of things. The first being the difference between EDITING and WRITING. I've always fancied myself as a writer, due mainly to my steady diet of R. A. Salvatore and Hardy Boy books as a child. I had this distinct feeling that I could create my own adventures for Drizzt or Frank and Joe quite easily. The desire to write never really developed much as I grew, and was at times a chore (mainly in high school). Sure, I had fun writing bizarre things for class at times, but the structure kept my imagination chained to the bottom of a water well.

In college I wrote a little more, but not much. And it wasn't until shortly after I graduated that I realized my creative "juices" were only present and more easily tapped when I was upset about something. Essentially, the ink would flow only when I was pissed off or depressed. And being a hard time in my personal life, I found it to be a great outlet for my anger/sadness.

As I've progressively grown older, I've found that I'm not as upset (thus less "juice" to write with) and I'm not much of a writer. And Elaine's post emphasises this point rather bluntly. I've heard Bob Salvatore say many times that a true writer can't stop writing, that it's almost a compulsion. For me, it's a hobby. I do okay, but fiction writing just isn't my niche. Even the reviews I write aren't the best, just a mediocre pile of words in a sea of reviews. Essays, these I feel more comfortable with. But I've never felt much of a market was available until I read a VanDerMeer book. It almost felt like a jumbled collection of essays. And that gave me hope.

Which brings me to the other thoughts I had about Elaine's post, editing. This is some sort of magical talent I've acquired through the years. In fact, it seems like over-night in college I was the "Comma King" and became the guy that edited every one's papers. I read so many I actually got sick of it.

But I'm now wondering if I should actively (as a non-professional amateur) pursue being an editor. I know plenty of people out there self-publish books. Surely I would be a great resource to them. I'd work cheap, do a decent job, and maybe I'd enjoy my work (that would be a change).

Yet, even if this came to be, my dreams of "making it big" still wouldn't happen. There's no professional author out there reading this. There's no publishing company reading this. Hell, it's not even something on my resume. And it never will be. It's like putting down "BA in Criminal Justice, Minor in History, Two classes short of an English minor, and 4 classes short of a Psychology minor."

Yeah. Spell S-T-U-P-I-D with me.

Oh well, hopes and dreams are always there to be burst and ruined, right? But still, I think I'll add something about that to my site. Something along the lines of "Quality editing available upon request."
Or just a simple "HIRE ME."


Anonymous said...

You know, I thought about being an editor as well, but I can only tolerate reading so much stuff that is completely uniteresting that I decided against it. It may have something to do with the idea I had about editors having to read through all manner of drivel for whatever publishing house they work for.

I guess, based upon info I'm starting to hear about, that they do have certain areas of speciality, like fantasy editors, horror editors, technical editors, etc. That might not be half bad, but still, that is a lot of reading, and I'm not that good, usually, if undisturbed, I can toss back a standard Realms novel in 8 hours, but that's if I don't want to get up and walk around.

I think I'm more the writer now anyway, I have a compulsion to write. I want to see what happens next, I want to know where the stories that are in my head are leading me. Now, if only I can make sure I'm actually writing quality stuff... :-)


Anonymous said...

So maybe Epheros needs to start publishing those stories that TK42one has edited?

Anonymous said...

Quite true.. maybe I'll hit TK up when I finish with whichever story I'm working on...

We'll see how good he really is, eh? :-)